Today Arizona’s SB1070 law, which violates the civil rights of legal and illegal immigrants, visitors from abroad, and those who look like either, goes into effect–sort of.
A judge announced a temporary injunction against the worst parts of the bill yesterday. Among other things, in Arizona: law enforcement is not yet required to check the immigration status of anyone they pull over for a minor offense if that person seems–for reasons that have never been well-defined–“reasonably suspicious”; it’s not yet a crime for non-citizens not to carry immigration papers–and so there’s also not yet justification for detaining citizens who don’t carry immigration papers because to someone or other they look like non-citizens; and warrantless arrests of those suspected of having committed deportable offenses are not yet legal.
Things that have gone into effect today, as I understand it, include that it’s now a crime in Arizona to so much as offer a ride to anyone who’s not here legally. How one is supposed to judge this when deciding whom to give rides to is, again, unclear.
And so we wait.
In Phoenix/Maricopa County, there were reports of unlawful detentions of citizens not carrying what are deemed sufficient documentation of said citizenship even before the law was supposed to take effect. If you’re visiting our state and are stopped by the local police or by border patrol, here’s an ACLU card detailing what your civil rights are and how to respond.
For Tucsonans, there’s an ongoing protest in Presidio Park until 3:30 p.m. today. (Can’t make it this morning; am hoping to stop by this afternoon.) There are almost certainly protests at the state capitol in Phoenix, too, though I don’t have the details.
For those of you in Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah: your states are considering SB1070-like laws of their own. It’s not too late to find out more and begin acting against them.